Storm above the dance floor

Everyone sweats. Not like the glue that adheres one to their Armani suit in Hollywood clubs. In Bali, sweat is assumed, integrated, adored – as everyone is making love to the dance floor, the waves just feet away crash obliviously out of sync to the booming DJ. It hasn’t stopped raining since sunset & the lightning & thunder over the far ocean care as little for us as we do for them. They are our lovers, they rant & rave, bitch & scream, we love their voice, their noise. They amplify the tension & escalate the violence begged for between each heaving body. Animals love this way – ignorant to the conscious social dynamics that make therapy out of our primal lust. When the waves are crashing up against the dance floor and the storm overhead lullabies the erratic bodies’ movements down deeper into the DJ’s trance, it is not for anyone to say or blame what come of it. This is Bali, island of the gods, & if you dare play up, you might find yourself drenched in their sweat.


My first sunrise in Bali

Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010

I awoke just before the sun to find Buddy sleeping on the couch. Yesterday, Tarah introduced me to the two dogs who make our house their home. She’s named them both Buddy which i find both amusing and possibly confusing for the dogs. She assured me they don’t speak english so it is of no consequence.

My first Bali sunrise in our backyard complete with morning bed head.

Last night Tarah rode me on the back of her motorbike out to Deus Ex Machina, the nicest restaurant in our area of Canggu. As we rode there, she mentioned that the road we were on was usually quite pitted & bumpy and that the new asphalt must have just been just laid today. Moments later, down the road, a man flagged us down, yelling, “Too hot! Too hot!” As we slowed, the heat of the ground all around us became more apparent . We pulled off into the dirt side and kept on past a crew of men and machines who just moments before were laying the asphalt beneath us.

There’s a cow on my front porch.

At dinner, Tarah told me matter factly that the road had been paved for me. Everything that had materialized thus far was manifested by me. She said that everything – her & Dawn picking me up from the airport because their schedules cleared last minute, her suddenly getting the idea to order massages at the house, going out to a nice dinner, and even the road being paved, all manifested randomly & unplanned by her. It was my arrival that somehow created everything that was happening. I like the way she thinks.

These street dogs can be a bit vicious. I was instructed to either act like I’m picking up a rock to throw at them or actually do it. I’m especially leery as they remind me of the pack of dogs that attacked me in Costa Rica.

Morning Rice Paddies.

The sunrise coming through our living room window on my first morning in Bali.

Here comes the heat. Buddy slept inside on the couch & has since been relegated to sleeping outside.

Echo Beach – 5 minutes from my house.

Tarah & Charles took me for a walk down the beach in the morning then to pancake breakfast.

In route to Bali

Nov. 12, 2010, 3:30AM

I got on this plane two days ago. Just before midnight on November 10th. Lily saw me off at the gate. For some reason I had not expected that. I expected to be dropped at the curb as I’m used to. “You’re insane if you think I’m going to drop you curbside.” Right now I’m realizing that I didn’t take any photos of our time at LAX. I wish I would have. I was thoroughly enjoying the moment. Each moment.

I wish I had a photo of, no, a video of her walking away from security where we had to part. She smiles between each kiss, she can’t help it, her mouth was built that way. She wore her traditional Guatemalan poncho which gives her an adorable anonymity, as if she could be just any South American walking a dusty road. As opposed to when she gets all dressed up and looks like fuck just waiting to happen. She didn’t wait till I was out of sight. She waved, smiled, of course, then softly turned her back and slowly started away. For a short while is was as if we were both leaving, just to different destinations. She occasionally turned for one more glance, then disappeared past the wall of check-in counters. I’d love to have a photo of her slowly walking away right now. I’d compare it to my memory and enjoy romanticizing the details.

Nov. 12, 2010, 4:29AM

It’s pitch black outside my cockpit window. Not really a cockpit though. When I land in Taiwan in an hour the sun will be rising two days after I departed 14 hours ago. Meanwhile, Lily woke up six hours ago at 6AM yesterday and is about to take her lunch break from teaching her 6th graders.

The sun is just starting to peak out from under her covers in Taiwan. It is a brand new day. Every possibility is flowering, overwhelming every expectation even before it is imagined.

I finally arrived in Bali around 3PM. Dawn & Tarah met me at the airport which was magical since I was having some anxiety about being able to follow Tarah’s directions to the house. Even better, she had a masseuse  waiting for us at the house when we arrived.

Why am I here? Why am I here? Why do I want to be here? Why do I choose to be here?

Butterflies and bats weave through our lush tropical yard. I’m lounging out back on our hammock while Tarah gets her massage. Scooters, crickets and distant chanting are the constant soundscape punctuated by the occasional cow or rooster. Somewhere behind the dense cloud cover the sun is setting on my first day in Bali.

Taiwan airport. Thanks Mom for the sandwiches & snacks – they came in very handy.